“Harnessing Technology for Economic Growth: Highlights from Evolve ICT Summit”

Tatenda Nomthandazo Gabi

It was with immense pleasure and a profound sense of responsibility as Hon. Dr. T. A. Mavetera addressed the nation on the occasion of the Evolve ICT Summit 2024. The gathering marked a significant milestone in an ongoing journey to harness the transformative potential of technology for the betterment of Zimbabwean and African societies.

Zimbabwe is not just our residence; it is the crucible from which innovative solutions must emerge. As emphasized by His Excellency, President Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa, “nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” (the country is built by its own people). This summit must yield actionable solutions to propel Zimbabwe forward.

As we embark on this auspicious event, it is crucial to acknowledge the vast potential within our grasp. The digital economy has emerged as a formidable agent of change, reshaping industries and transcending geographical boundaries. In Zimbabwe, we are steadfast in our commitment to leveraging this transformative power to forge an inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous future for all citizens.

From a policy standpoint, this year witnessed the launch of three National ICT Policies by His Excellency, President ED Mnangagwa. These policies serve as robust frameworks for our transition to a digital economy, with additional policies focusing on disruptive technologies currently in development.

Central to our vision is the National Broadband Plan, a strategic roadmap for extending high-speed internet access throughout the nation. Recognizing that broadband access is not merely a luxury but a fundamental right, we are dedicated to bridging the digital divide and ensuring that every Zimbabwean has the means to thrive in the digital era.

In tandem with our endeavors is the National ICT Policy 2022-2027, a comprehensive framework outlining our strategic goals and priorities for the coming years. This policy underscores our commitment to fostering an environment conducive to innovation, investment, and entrepreneurship. Through initiatives aimed at promoting digital literacy, enhancing cybersecurity, and improving the regulatory landscape, we aim to cultivate a vibrant ICT sector that drives economic growth and generates employment opportunities.

At the core of our strategy lies the Smart Zimbabwe 2030 master plan, a forward-thinking blueprint for harnessing technology to tackle our most pressing challenges and unlock new avenues for development. This master plan articulates our aspirations to develop smart cities, enhance public service delivery, and elevate the quality of life for all Zimbabweans. By harnessing emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things, we aspire to create a future that is smarter, more efficient, and sustainable.

While significant strides have been made, we acknowledge that our journey is far from complete. The challenges ahead are formidable, but so too are the opportunities. As we convene here today, let us reaffirm our commitment to collaborative action across sectors and disciplines to fully realize the transformative potential of ICT in advancing our nation and empowering our people.

In conclusion, I extend my sincere gratitude to all who have contributed tirelessly to the success of this summit. Special recognition is due to the founders of Compulink Systems (Private) Limited, Edward and Eunice Nyamuda, the Event Facilitator Simon Nyamuda, the conveners of the Summit Compulink Systems (Private) Limited, esteemed speakers, and sponsors for their collective efforts in making this event a resounding success. Lastly, I thank all organizations and individuals who have invested their time and resources in attending this summit. With our collective efforts, I am confident that Zimbabwe and Africa will emerge as global leaders driving technological advancement.

My ministry and I eagerly anticipate forging robust partnerships between government and the private sector as we collaborate to build our digital economy.

Your dedication and commitment serve as an inspiration, and I am confident that together, we will navigate towards a brighter and more prosperous future for Zimbabwe.

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